27. Anton Katz &
Stephen Mock
Head of Trading Systems Technology &
Head of Enterprise Architecture
AQR Capital Management
Last year: 29

Crucial to the designs and upgrades of AQR Capital Management's high-powered trading systems is the collaboration of Anton Katz and Stephen Mock. Respectively head of trading systems technology and head of enterprise architecture, they report to chief technology officer Neal Pawar. Their teamwork speaks to the openness and inclusiveness of the AQR culture, which, as Katz tells it, eschews organizational silos, values ideas and contributions from people on all levels, and regards information technology as "on an equal footing with the business, and technology innovation on an equal footing with innovation in the business." Says Mock: "Technology is fundamental to everything we do. Flexibility and the ability to innovate are key. We want to be in a position to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself." Part of the job is being in touch with, and taking part in, the wider IT community — fintech labs, incubators, vendor companies, and academia. "Just focusing inside our four walls is not sufficient," says Mock, to which Katz adds, "If you are not mindful [of technological advancements], you will be left behind."

The duo and Pawar all bring to bear outside influences. Pawar came aboard three years ago after stints with D.E. Shaw & Co. and UBS Wealth Management. Mock, 37, brought low-latency trading expertise from Macquarie Capital, in 2012. Back then, he says, AQR's engineering efforts were focused on a diverse set of growing businesses and strategies, and thus somewhat siloed. Today he describes those efforts as "focused on a broader platform and less bespoke" in supporting a firm that has $175.2 billion in both traditional and alternative assets under management. Katz, 36, who joined Greenwich, Connecticut–based AQR in 2015 after six years on the vendor side, with Broadway Technology, says a current priority is mobilizing and optimizing the "tons of data" that the highly quantitative firm generates. "Innovation in technology is not a step function — it is a matter of constant iteration and experimentation," he explains. "It has everything to do with how we as a company execute strategy and achieve competitive advantage."


 
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